That Time I Tried To Buy My Husband’s Happiness

That Time I Tried To Buy My Husband’s Happiness

I get ideas in my head about things that are important. I think we all do. When Matt was in his late thirties, I knew I wanted to make a big deal about his 40th birthday. I was very committed to this idea and even started a savings account to ensure that I could do it up right for him. You see, Matt had a crap year professionally before we got married. He had an idea for a new play, chose a playwright, single-handedly guided the development of the show from Day One, and then moments before its Off-Broadway world premiere, the writer he was championing “broke up with him” professionally. For all you creatives out there, I’m certain you’re not falling out of your chair in shock. This kind of thing happens. And it’s crappy when it happens to someone you love. Matt was one of the lucky ones: he lawyered up before it became a hit; the show transferred to Broadway and got a Tony Award nod; he still gets credit in the script and on every production, and receives surprise royalty checks from time to time (the show has thus far received over 60 productions around the world). But for Matt (and so many artists) it was never about the money. He loved the show and put years of his life into it. To say the least, my man was bummed about what happened. But we didn’t have a long time to mope about it. We got married! We got pregnant! We left NYC! And my man got even more bummed. His creative outlets had all...
The Stories We Tell

The Stories We Tell

When I was a participant (i.e., training to be a coach) with Accomplishment Coaching, it was one of the most special times of my life. I met extraordinary humans. And I believe that this kind of experience is a rarity: embarking on a year-long journey with a room full of strangers who want to change the world. And although these are people you’ve never met, you begin sharing all parts of yourself — the good, the bad, and the things that 99% of the people in your life don’t know about you. That level of relationship. That level of intimacy. These strangers turn into dear friends who feel more like family when all is said and done. I’ve often said that the relationships I created there were alone worth the price of admission. I’m in contact with all of these folks at varying levels. Some more frequently and consistently than others, but if they call, I’m going to take that call. I share all of this with you to set the stage for my experience over this weekend. One of my teammates from my “participant year” texted me to talk. I was super excited. Every time I hear from this person, I’m happy. I was a big fan of his during the program and consider him a friend and someone I can call on anytime. We started our conversation by catching up on the last few months . . . he got engaged, has created an amazing men’s actor accountability group, and shared that he is boxing on the regular and takes Saturday for well-being days that include restorative...
Pixar’s Coaching Movie, Inside Out

Pixar’s Coaching Movie, Inside Out

A while back, a colleague of mine sent a GroupMe to my team of coaches. The text went something like this: “Guys, Pixar made a movie about coaching and feelings — it’s called Inside Out! How crazy is that?” About a week after it came out, Matt, Mirabelle and I went to check it out. I really enjoyed it, although the concepts were pretty meta for a 3 year old. But for adults: brilliant. One of my favorite parts is when a few characters are zooming around on the Train of Thought. Boxes of Facts and Opinions spill out, and Joy says, “Oh no, what do we do? I can’t tell them apart.” The other character replies with, “Don’t worry! Just put them back in the box. No one knows the difference.” Ha — how true is that? I just returned from Accomplishment Coaching’s annual leader retreat in San Diego and I noticed myself relating to different leaders in a particular way. E.g., he/she is mean. And it was “true” for me. My opinion or judgment became the truth. A reality. I even had evidence to back my truth up. And because I do the work that I do, I always try to take that next step of looking on my own side of the street (which, trust me, isn’t always a pleasure) and identifying what I can get responsible for. And in this case, what I saw for myself is that I was relating to the story I made up in my head as the truth. I’m not making myself wrong for what I did. I think this...
Me & Jon Stewart: Avoiding the Love

Me & Jon Stewart: Avoiding the Love

Warm Greetings, A few weeks ago, we had some family photos done.  I wanted them for personal and professional use. I love giving pictures as gifts (and having them as keepsakes), plus I am giving Luscious Mother a facelift and needed some new pics. Hence: family photo shoot. When I got the pictures from my amazing photographer, Magen, I got excited and posted them to Facebook. They received tons of likes and wonderful comments—and something funny happened: I got weird. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I started deflecting the kindness and love with the swiftness of an NHL goalie. Not one nice comment was getting by me. “Your hair looks great, very Mad Men.” My response? “Oh, I had my hair cut that day. My hair NEVER looks like that.” “You all look so amazing, and like your having a great time.” I'd reply: “It was so hot. We were sweating like Christmas hams and Matt broke my phone.” I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I saw Jon Stewart’s farewell show. During Stewart's send-off, the man simply could not be with all the love coming his way. He couldn't be with the acknowledgement of the huge contribution and gift he was (is) to his profession and to the world. He is a conscious, hilarious human who genuinely cares for his fellow man. He treats people with respect and people adore him. And when folks tried to express their thanks and admiration, he pretended to move away. And there is a lot in that “joke.” What I notice with the people I coach, with the...
Structure, Support & Sister

Structure, Support & Sister

When I was in RI a few weeks back for an unexpected visit, I had the great pleasure of spending the night with my sister and two nieces. My little sister is one of my great heroes. She is fun, funny, smart, brave, discerning and totally on top of it. And by “it” what I really mean is anything she’s up to. She is strong, loving and a total badass. Not to mention a loyal wife, sister, mother and daughter. In short, Kate rules. My sister’s husband, Ed, is a Navy Chief. In his role, he goes out to sea for six months at a time. The thought of being away from your partner for six months is challenging enough; add in two kids under four, a house, a full-time job and a dog — and you officially got a lot on your plate. And my sister stays fit AND plans meals AND manages to have a social life. Until recently, I was mystified how this was possible (without resulting in her off drooling in a corner somewhere) until she explained to me how she keeps it all together . . . Two things: structures and support. From my perspective, on the day-to-day, it’s really the structures that keep things moving when Ed is on the boat. In the morning, she gets up 20-30 minutes before my nieces, prepares their breakfasts and gets ready for work. Then she gets my older niece up first and helps with her bathroom routine and getting her dressed. Then they go in and sing to the 18-month-old to wake her up. Finally, they all head down for breakfast and...

What I didn’t say about my airport adventure

In my last Newsletter, I mentioned my epic 9-hour airport experience.  And what I didn’t say was that during my 9-hour stay, I had a big ol’ breakdown.  You see, when I went to the airport, I thought I would just be there to re-schedule my flight.  Instead, I got re-booked on a sooner flight than anticipated, and had to hunker down there until takeoff. After about five hours of waiting and delays, I was missing my husband and my daughter.  I really thought I would see Matt and Mirabelle again that day and have more time with them before getting on a plane.  But because of scheduling/availibility and the state of icy roads and traveling in Charlotte, that didn’t turn out to be the case.  It actually didn’t make sense for me to go home before my flight.  So my bag was dropped off to me by my father-in-law.  No more time, no extra hugs and kisses.  And so I got really sad.  I was tired and nervous (it was my first weekend as a mentor coach) and could feel a cold coming on.  Add hunger into the mix, and you’ve got perfect conditions for an (smallish) emotional breakdown.  And my phone was dying. After I got through security, I did what any good American would do . . . I went to Chili’s.  I plugged in my phone and thought about who I could call to support me.  I had been trying to connect for two weeks with my sister-in-law Dana and in my moment of need, she picked up the phone.  I started crying the minute...
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